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Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction

by

Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Pan Am, Gimbel's, Pullman, Douglas Aircraft, Digital Equipment Corporation, British Leyland — all once as strong as dinosaurs, all now just as extinct. Destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life. No one understood this bedrock economic principle better than Joseph A. Schumpeter. "Creative destruction," he said, is the driving force of capitalism.

Described by John Kenneth Galbraith as "the most sophisticated conservative" of the twentieth century, Schumpeter made his mark as the prophet of incessant change. His vision was stark: Nearly all businesses fail, victims of innovation by their competitors. Business people ignore this lesson at their peril — to survive, they must be entrepreneurial and think strategically. Yet in Schumpeter's view, the general prosperity produced by the "capitalist engine" far outweighs the wreckage it leaves behind.

During a tumultuous life spanning two world wars, the Great Depression, and the early Cold War, Schumpeter reinvented himself many times. From boy wonder in turn-of-the-century Vienna to captivating Harvard professor, he was stalked by tragedy and haunted by the specter of his rival, John Maynard Keynes. By 1983 — the centennial of the birth of both men — Forbes christened Schumpeter, not Keynes, the best navigator through the turbulent seas of globalization. Time has proved that assessment accurate.

Prophet of Innovation is also the private story of a man rescued repeatedly by women who loved him and put his well-being above their own. Without them, he would likely have perished, so fierce were the conflicts between his reason and his emotions. Drawing on all of Schumpeter's writings, including many intimate diaries and letters never before used, this biography paints the full portrait of a magnetic figure who aspired to become the world's greatest economist, lover, and horseman — and admitted to failure only with the horses.

Review:

"[P]ersuasive and eloquent....McCraw interweaves Schumpeter the economist with Schumpeter the man — moody, attractive to women, unnaturally preoccupied with death." Baltimore Sun

Review:

[Joseph Schumpeter's] private life was no less fascinating than his public message. In Prophet of Innovation, Thomas McCraw...artfully weaves the two together." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"[An] insightful and highly readable biography." Library Journal

Review:

"This well-paced and beautifully written book explains not only Schumpeter's work but also the fast-changing phenomenon of modern capitalism." Harold James, Princeton University

Review:

"A welcome book...a truly penetrating biography of the most influential theorist of finance capitalism." Edmund S. Phelps, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics

Review:

"A most compelling portrait of a complex man who has had a profound influence on how we think about entrepreneurship." Amar Bhidé, Columbia University

Synopsis:

Drawing on all of Schumpeter's writings, this biography paints the full portrait of a magnetic figure who aspired to become the world's greatest economist, lover, and horseman--and admitted to failure only with the horses.

About the Author

Thomas K. McCraw is Straus Professor of Business History at the Harvard Business School. His book Prophets of Regulation was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in history.

Table of Contents

Preface

Part I: L'Enfant Terrible, 1883-1926: Innovation and Economics

Prologue: Who He Was and What He Did

1. Leaving Home

2. Shaping His Character

3. Learning Economics

4. Moving Out

5. Career Takeoff

6. War and Politics

7. Gran Rifiuto

8. Annie

9. Heartbreak

Part II: The Adult, 1926-1939: Capitalism and Society

Prologue: What He Had Learned

10. New Intellectual Directions

11. Policy and Entrepreneurship

12. Between Two Worlds

13. Harvard

14. Suffering and Solace

Part III: The Sage, 1939-1950: Innovation, Capitalism, and History

Prologue: How and Why He Embraced History

15. Business Cycles, Business History

16. Letters from Europe

17. To Leave Harvard?

18. Against the Grain

19. The Courage of Her Convictions

20. Alienation

21. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

22. War and Perplexity

23. Introspection

24. Honors and Resurgence

25. Toward the Mixed Economy

26. History of Economic Analysis

27. A Principle of Indeterminateness

28. L'Envoi

Epilogue: The Legacy

Notes

Acknowledgments

Illustration Credits

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674025233
Subtitle:
Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction
Author:
McCraw, Thomas K.
Author:
McCraw, Thomas K.
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Subject:
Business
Subject:
Capitalism
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Economists
Subject:
Economists -- United States.
Subject:
Biography/Business
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
April 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
68 halftones
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.375 in

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Related Subjects

Business » History and Biographies
History and Social Science » Economics » General

Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction Used Hardcover
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$12.95 In Stock
Product details 736 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674025233 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[P]ersuasive and eloquent....McCraw interweaves Schumpeter the economist with Schumpeter the man — moody, attractive to women, unnaturally preoccupied with death."
"Review" by , [Joseph Schumpeter's] private life was no less fascinating than his public message. In Prophet of Innovation, Thomas McCraw...artfully weaves the two together."
"Review" by , "[An] insightful and highly readable biography."
"Review" by , "This well-paced and beautifully written book explains not only Schumpeter's work but also the fast-changing phenomenon of modern capitalism."
"Review" by , "A welcome book...a truly penetrating biography of the most influential theorist of finance capitalism."
"Review" by , "A most compelling portrait of a complex man who has had a profound influence on how we think about entrepreneurship."
"Synopsis" by , Drawing on all of Schumpeter's writings, this biography paints the full portrait of a magnetic figure who aspired to become the world's greatest economist, lover, and horseman--and admitted to failure only with the horses.
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